Southern Italy encompasses the southern section of the continental Italian peninsula, which the locals fondly call the “Lower Boot”. Sicily and Sardinia are its two major islands. More popularly known locally as Mezzogiorno, which translates to midday, Southern Italy features many major tourist attractions, making it very popular for travelers and vacationers from all over the world. This Italian region also carries in its age-old history a very distinct and colorful culture. Among the most well known destinations in the area are its numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, starting with the archaeological site of Pompeii and the many ancient cities that date back to the start of the Roman Republic, a number of its beaches and National Parks, the magnificent Amalfi Coast and the Palace of Caserta.
The Mediterranean climate of Southern Italy is also one of the reasons why this region has enjoyed its popularity in tourism for so many years now. The dry and hot weather offers many opportunities to explore its many treasures, to sunbathe on its beautiful beaches and to walk its cobblestoned pavements which have been around for centuries. It is also a perfect destination for families as there is a lot to enjoy for just about anyone.
The idyllic Amalfi Coast must be in your top choices of places to visit while in Southern Italy. It is a world-renowned vacation destination, especially in the summer season. Be in awe at its scenic and quaint mountain villages and the beautiful and romantic images of cliffs rising from the sea. The town of Positano is a very popular town on this side of Italy, thanks to the movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley” where it has been featured. The coast’s namesake, Amalfi, is also a must visit place here, for its beautiful architecture dating back to the Medieval time. Those who are taking public transportation may also consider staying in a homey and cozy Sorrento inn, situated on the other side of the peninsula, which is more convenient to travel to and from different Southern Italian destinations nearby.
The largest of the Mediterranean Sea islands, Regione Siciliana or more commonly known as Sicilia or Sicily, has Mount Etna as its most prominent landmark. Considered the tallest European active volcano, Mount Etna towers at 10,890 feet and is also one of the most active in the world. Sicily also has a colorful and distinctive culture and any guest will enjoy experiencing its rich music, literature and arts. Other must see attractions include the ancient archeological sites of Selinunte, the Valley of Temples and the Necropolis of Pantalica.
On your Southern Italy trip, do not forget to stop in Naples. Most well known as the birthplace of a worldwide staple food, pizza, Naples is also Italy’s third-largest city and is a perfect destination for those who simply love to eat fresh seafood. Most distinguished for its numerous artisan workshops that create terra cotta figurines for nativities, any visit here is never complete without checking out many of its awe inspiring nativity scenes, especially on Via San Gregoria Armeno. Other places worthy of your visit include the Naples historic center, a narrow alley packed with a number of interesting things to marvel at. Another place you should not miss is the National Archeology Museum of Naples, which has the world’s best collection of Roman and Greek artifacts, most of which came from neighboring excavations found in Herculean and Pompeii. While you are there, do not forget to see the two beautiful castles of dell’Ovo and Nuovo.
For those who love to enjoy the sun, the surf, the sand and the sea, Salento Peninsula is the most ideal destinations for them. Considered the heel of the Italian Boot, Salento has numerous beautiful beaches any beachcomber will love and enjoy to the fullest. Its charming towns by the seaside, including Leece, Gallipoli and Otranto, are also a bunch of lovely destinations to check out.
Anyone who visits the Southern Italian region must include a number of its UNESCO World Heritage Sites in their travel itinerary. Start your tour with the Valley of the Temples Archeological Park in Agrigento, which dates back to the 4th century BC. Do not forget to marvel at the charming Baroque towns found in the Val di Noto. And while you are there, visit the many beautiful treasures and attractions found in Syracuse including its numerous archeological sites starting with the Roman amphitheater, catacombs, the Greek theater and the Byzantine graves of the Street of Tombs.